Anorak News | Maggie’s Den

Maggie’s Den

by | 27th, June 2003

‘ONLY when a person is gone can you see their real worth. It’s the case of Denis Thatcher, who for years knew when to step back and let his wife take centre stage.

”Coooeee! It’s that nice Mr Duncan Smith. And he’s got a gun…”

Now Denis has removed himself entirely and has died.

The tributes for Denis in the papers seem genuine and fulsome in their praise for the man who had the truly unenviable job of being Mr Margaret Thatcher.

The Independent, however, tries to sum up the life of Denis in one short headline: ”A steadfast consort, a lover of golf and fond of a tipple: Sir Denis dies.”

Perhaps best to do as Matthew Parris, writing in the Times, does and list a few of the bon mots of the man who for so long survived life in, and as, Maggie’s Den.

”My idea of Heaven is sitting in my garden on a warm June night with bottle of bubbly and my wife in a reasonably calm frame of mind,” said Denis of his dream while resident in Downing Street.

On the secret behind his slim physique, Denis gave the succinct reply: ”Gin and cigarettes.”

And when Maggie was deposed in 1990, he offered a line, sage-like in it clarity of vision in light of the ensuing Major and Blair years: ”Life is not going to be so much ruddy fun any more, neither for you nor for me.”

And it could, as the Telegraph leads, be about to become yet still less fun. News is…well, just listen to the headline: ”Tories back in lead after 11 years.”

In a YouGov poll, the Conservatives are top of the pile with 37 per cent of the popular vote while the Labour Party have dipped to 35 per cent.

But could the departure of Denis and the upsurge in Tory support be linked by more than a shared front page? One nasty slip on a wet paving stone and Iain Duncan Smith could be king.

Come on Maggie, chin up – the nation needs you…

Posted: 27th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink